Why teen patti might rival poker in popularity soon

Teen patti is an Indian game of skill and chance that bears similarity to western poker and the English game of three card brag. The game is a staple in most of India and South Asia. Teen patti is unfamiliar for most western gamblers for now, but that could soon change. With more and more Indians playing on international online casinos, it is only a matter of time before the game catches on internationally.

What is teen patti?

The game has a lot in common with poker. Each player is dealt three cards and the aim of the game is to get the best hand. There are no common cards. The card rankings are as follows.

  • Three of a kind (trio)
  • Straight flush (pure sequence)
  • Straight (sequence)
  • Flush (colour)
  • Pair (double)
  • No pair (high card)

The game has some similarities, to poker, though there are differences in how antes are placed, how the dealer is chosen and how you can call and raise.

Choosing the dealer

It starts with one player dealing the cards, usually counter clockwise. Before the start of the game, cards are dealt to decide who will be the dealer for the opening hand. This stage already involves betting, since all players are usually required to place an ante into the pot, before picking the cards. The winner gets to keep the pot, but also has to be the dealer for the first round. After the opening hand, the winner of each hand has to deal the next one.

Ante

Unlike in poker, each player has to place an ante before each round starts. This means that a player who folds will automatically lose money, giving players an incentive to keep playing, even with perceived bad cards. As a “price of winning”, the dealer sometimes needs to place a blind, though it is more common for the two players after the dealer to place a big blind and small blind, respectively. Players can also choose to place blinds of their own, set at half the level of the big blind.

Call and raise (chaal)

Once the ante and blind rounds are complete, the regular betting will start. Bets are usually limited to twice the previous players bet. Raising must be done in multiples of 2. Every bet is counted as a new bet. For example, if one player bets 2 and the next raises it to 4, the first player will have to bet an additional 4 or raise the bet to 8. This makes the betting strategy completely different from Poker.

Popularity in India and the rest of the world

Teen patti has always been popular in India, and has been favourite pastime for several generations. Officially, gambling is not legal in most Indian states, which is why you will not find many casinos where you can play the game. Still, people often play it as a friendly game or in illicit gambling locations. With the launch of online gambling, this is changing drastically. With a population that is set to surpass China by 2027, increased wealth and internet coverage, a huge market for online gambling is opening up.

Why you might soon find teen patti in a casino near you

India prohibits gambling in most states, however, there is no law that regulates or prohibits online gambling. Indian players can play online, as long as they play on offshore websites. This means that more and more international betting sites have started catering to their preferences. That includes Indian games like matka or teen patti, bets on cricket and kabaddi, and more.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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